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Getting the best from our land

Consultation on a draft
Land Use Strategy for Scotland
2016 -2021

November 2015

Contents
Ministerial Foreword

1.

Introduction

1.1

Scotlands First Land Use Strategy

1.2

The Next Five Years

2.

The Land Use Framework

2.1

Our Vision for Land Use

2.2

Our Land Use Objectives

2.3

Land Use and Business

2.4

Land Use and the Environment

2.5

Land Use and Communities

2.6

Principles for Sustainable Land Use

11

3.

Policies and Proposals

12

3.1

Policy Context

12

3.2

Informed Decision Making

19

3.3

Applying the Principles

24

4.

Monitoring Delivery of the Strategy

30

4.1

The Land Use Strategy Indicators

30

4.2

Future Reporting

30

5.

Responding to this Consultation

31

5.1

Consultation Questions

33

Annex A Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

41

Ministerial Foreword
Scotlands land is the subject of an energising and
exciting debate as never before. Milestone
legislation, such as the recently passed Community
Empowerment Act and the Land Reform Bill which
is currently being considered in the Scottish
Parliament are shining a light on land use.
Land has never been a more precious resource
and, with that in mind, I am very pleased to publish
for consultation our second Land Use Strategy and to invite responses to the draft
document.
Scotlands first Land Use Strategy was published in 2011 and, at that time,
represented a new and unique approach to this important policy area. Since then we
have completed the significant commitments in the first Strategy, we have initiated
and completed two very successful land use pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and the
Scottish Borders and we have begun to see considerable interest in our work from
those outside Scotland. In the wider context we have seen the development of the
natural capital agenda and the formation of the Scottish Forum for Natural Capital,
the increased use of an ecosystems approach and significant developments in areas
such as the use of spatial mapping tools. This significant body of work has been
undertaken in partnership with a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals
across Scotland who recognise the importance of this work and are keen to be
involved. Without them we could not have achieved such substantial progress during
the life of the first Land Use Strategy.
It is now time to take stock and to consider where our focus should be for the next
5 years. I believe that the Vision, Objectives and Principles set out in our first
Strategy remain every bit as relevant and valid. Land use is an issue which requires
long term stability and we propose that this strong central framework remains
unchanged in order to provide that stability. Around that strong policy direction this
draft Land Use Strategy sets out our priorities for the next five year period.
At present we are in a period of financial constraint and while this may limit our
capacity to deliver in the short term, it does not limit the level of our ambition in the
longer term. Scotlands land resources are of vital importance to our economy, our
environment and our people. We all stand to benefit if they are well managed and
used wisely.
I hope that you will recognise and share our ambition in this draft Strategy and I
encourage you to be part of the debate and to participate in this consultation. I look
forward to hearing your views.

Dr Aileen McLeod
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
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1.

Introduction

The publication of Scotlands first Land Use Strategy was a step change in the
Scottish Governments approach to land use. With the publication of the Strategy in
2011, Scotland led the UK in the consideration of land as a fundamental resource for
the nation. The first Strategy provided a policy agenda for all land in Scotland and
set out a direction of travel towards a more integrated and strategic approach to land
use. It recognised the benefits we all derive from land, including underpinning our
economic prosperity, and the need to ensure a sustainable future for our land.
Recognising land as a fundamental resource which is vital for a successful economy,
for the environment and for communities is as clear today as it was 5 years ago
when the first Strategy was issued. The increasing complexity of land related matters
in Scotland is recognised and this review of the Land Use Strategy deals with the
key issues which we believe will impact upon Scotland during the next five years. We
have learned much from delivery of the first Strategy and there has been extensive
research work undertaken by the Scottish Government and through our strategic
research programme. We have initiated two regional land use pilot projects and have
been assisted by a wide range of work from our key delivery partners.

1.1

Scotlands First Land Use Strategy

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requires the Land Use Strategy to be
reviewed every five years and a revised document to be laid before the Scottish
Parliament. This review has been informed by a range of stakeholder workshops, by
policy considerations and reflects the changing landscape of ideas since 2011.
Further information about the review process and related documents can be found
on the Land Use Strategy webpages.
The first Land Use Strategy provides a strong foundation upon which to move
forward with delivery. We deliberately took a cautious approach in the first Strategy
because we felt there was much that we didnt know or fully understand. Despite that
caution we have achieved much, as our annual Progress Statements show.
However, climate change remains a pressing matter, as do a number of other
issues, such as the decline in some of our biodiversity. We are keen to build on the
success of the two land use pilot projects and to complement the work underway in
the land reform agenda and through the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act
2015.
Land use is driven by a wide range of considerations and change tends to happen
slowly and for the longer term. The drivers of change include the priorities of those
who manage the land, market influences, the incentives and regulations which
impact upon particular areas and the capacity of the local area. However what is
always required is a consistent approach to policy and to decision making.
This need for consistency is reflected in our approach to the second Land Use
Strategy which maintains the direction of travel and the Vision, Objectives and
Principles from the first Strategy.
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1.2

The Next Five Years

Our second Land Use Strategy builds on the strong framework set out in 2011. We
are clear that our goal of long term, well integrated sustainable land use delivering
multiple benefits for all in society remains valid and achievable.
The central framework of the Strategy therefore remains the same the Vision,
Objectives and Principles for Sustainable Land Use. These have extensive support
amongst stakeholders and are widely accepted as fit for purpose in terms of
providing the strategic direction for sustainable land use matters. They represent a
long term view to guide policy and decision making, and ensure consistency and
stability of purpose for our land resources in Scotland. For that reason this document
does not reiterate what has already been said in the first Land Use Strategy. The
policy direction remains constant and with the central components in place our
second Land Use Strategy focuses on the priority activities for the next five year
period and represents a programme of action. A suite of policies and proposals has
been developed around the following three themes:
Policy Context policies and proposals which provide further clarity on
current Scottish Government policy and reinforce and ensure consistent
messages.
Informed Decision Making policies and proposals which underpin decision
making with improved data, increased accessibility and wider empowerment
of communities and stakeholders in decision making.
Applying the Principles policies and proposals which apply the Land Use
Strategy Principles on the ground, either as specific projects or in ways which
influence direct change on the ground.
The central framework of Vision, Objectives and Principles and the policies and
proposals which follow support the Scottish Governments central purpose as set out
in Scotlands Economic Strategy published in March 2015 to create a more
successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through
increasing sustainable economic growth. The Land Use Strategy also supports the
three underpinning principles in A Stronger Scotland, The Governments Programme
for Scotland 2015-16 published in September 2015:

The need to deliver greater prosperity for our country;


Ensuring that there is fairness in how our nations wealth, resources and
opportunities are distributed;
Making sure that we encourage and facilitate participation by everyone in the
debates and decisions that matter to them most, regardless of their
circumstances or backgrounds.

2.

The Land Use Framework

2.1

Our Vision for Land Use

Our long term Vision for sustainable land use remains valid and is a key component
of the Land Use Strategy. Our Vision is to 2050.
Our Vision
A Scotland where we fully recognise, understand and value the importance of our
land resources, and where our plans and decisions about land use will deliver
improved and enduring benefits, enhancing the wellbeing of our nation.

2.2

Our Land Use Objectives

The Objectives in the first Land Use Strategy are robust and fit for purpose and
remain a strong framework for policy.
Our Objectives
Land based businesses working with nature to contribute more to Scotlands
prosperity
Responsible stewardship of Scotlands natural resources delivering more benefits to
Scotlands people
Urban and rural communities better connected to the land, with more people
enjoying the land and positively influencing land use
The policy context and evidence base has developed over the past 5 years, in part
due to the influence of the first Land Use Strategy, and this section highlights how
those Objectives and Principles are still applicable.

2.3

Land Use and Business

Land-based businesses working with nature to contribute more to Scotlands


prosperity.
Scotlands land-based businesses, including small producers such as crofters, are
the cornerstone of our rural economy. They support our thriving food and drink
industry, provide the timber for our expanding forestry sector, contribute to the
tourism industry and support the continued vitality of our rural communities by
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providing employment and supporting local services. They also play an essential role
in maintaining and delivering many of the vital ecosystem services upon which we all
depend such as clean air and water, flood protection or a rich and varied biodiversity.
Often the impact of decisions taken about land use or land management will be
experienced many miles away in urban areas, for example flood attenuation by tree
planting to slow the flow of flood water, or peatland restoration in the uplands which
benefits us all by locking up carbon and contributing to climate change mitigation.
We recognise that our land-based businesses have to operate in a commercial world
and that margins are tight. We understand that some sectors, such as agriculture,
face considerable challenges in the years ahead. That is why we are keen to have a
conversation now about how we collectively tackle those challenges. The Future of
Scottish Agriculture A Discussion Document was published in June 2015 and is
part of a dialogue about the future of the agriculture industry in Scotland. Elsewhere
in this Strategy we acknowledge forestrys role as a key multipurpose land use and
the need to review the Scottish Forestry Strategy. We also believe there is the
potential for a new strategic vision for the uplands. These are all key components of
our strategic consideration of land use and each will align with the wider Vision and
Objectives set out in the Land Use Strategy.
Many of our land based business are intimately tied into the system of incentives set
by the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Now that the reform process is
complete and we have a new system in operation it is essential that we continue to
ensure that we are getting the best deal for our land managers and for the wider
environment. We also need to look ahead to the next CAP and make sure that
Scotland and our land based businesses are in the best possible place to benefit in
the future.
The first Strategy highlighted delivering multiple benefits as the necessary shift in
approach to help us move towards achieving this Objective. Our objective to
maximise the opportunities for land to deliver multiple economic, environmental and
social benefits is still valid and at the heart of this revised Strategy.

2.4

Land Use and the Environment

Responsible stewardship of Scotlands natural resources delivering more


benefits to Scotlands people.
Scotland has a world renowned environment. It helps us to produce and to market
our food and drink, drives a large proportion of our tourism industry and supports
employment for thousands of people in our agricultural and forestry sectors. What is
less well recognised is the value of the ecosystem services which are provided by
the wider environment and upon which we all rely. These ecosystem services
include goods which we need and use such as timber or energy, services we rely on
such as water purification or climate regulation and less tangible benefits such as
space for recreation or relaxation. It is essential that we better understand and
properly recognise the value of the environment in the decisions we take and the
way we manage our land resources. To support this, the review of the Scottish

Forestry Strategy (Policy 4) will emphasise the continued protection of Scotlands


forest resource.
The stocks of ecosystem services we have in Scotland can be thought of as natural
assets or natural capital. Like all assets we need to manage them sensibly and
sustainably so that they will continue to provide the essential services we need now
and for future generations. Since the publication of the first Strategy we have
promoted the wider use of an ecosystems approach. We believe this approach has
potential to improve decision making by recognising and working to sustain the
benefits that nature provides. In 2011 we published an information note on Applying
an Ecosystems Approach to Land Use. This note summarised the three key steps
which are important when using an ecosystems approach, these are:

Considering natural systems


Taking account of the services that ecosystems provide
Involving people

Maximising the benefits provided by nature often requires co-ordinated action at a


landscape scale. This is a scale at which natural systems tend to work best and
where there is often most opportunity to make changes which can have real and
lasting benefits. To promote this approach, the 2014-20 SRDP includes a new
Environmental Co-operation Action Fund, which supports the costs of facilitating
cooperation among groups of land managers in order to deliver landscape-scale
environmental projects.
Since the publication of the first Strategy we have also initiated two pilot projects in
the Scottish Borders and Aberdeenshire. These projects have worked with local
stakeholders to develop land use frameworks which can be used to inform local
decision making. The new Strategy builds on the work undertaken by the pilot
projects in terms of the partnership approach, the need to provide access to data
and information and explores the ways in which the final frameworks can contribute
to improved land use decision making.
The first Strategy highlighted partnerships with nature as the necessary shift in
approach to help us move towards achieving this Objective. It is still the case that we
need to work towards more holistic decision-making which takes increased account
of how nature works and of how our decisions impact on nature. A greater use of an
ecosystems approach is one way to achieve this.

2.5

Land Use and Communities

Urban and rural communities better connected to the land, with more people
enjoying the land and positively influencing land use.
We are all part of a community. A community can be based on its location (for
example people who live, work or use an area) or common interest (for example the
business community, sports or heritage groups). Both need to be at the heart of
decisions about land use because land is at the core of our communities. It provides
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places for us to live, work and enjoy recreation. It also provides many of the
ecosystem services we rely on for life itself.
When people can influence what happens in their community and contribute to
delivering change, there can be many benefits. Pride in the local community can
increase, people may be more inclined to go outdoors and be active, or have the
opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables and eat more healthily. All of these
things improve peoples physical health, mental wellbeing and overall quality of life.
It has also been shown that most people feel that they should be involved in local
land use decisions beyond the rights already provided by the statutory planning
system; this is why we need to encourage better connections between communities
and the land. An example of how we have helped create this stronger connection
between local communities and land is through Forestry Commission Scotlands
National Forest Land Scheme. Since its launch in 2005, nineteen local communities
have taken on the ownership and management of over 3,000 hectares of forestry to
deliver their local development aspirations e.g. local employment, community-based
fire wood businesses etc.
These findings are reflected in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. It
gives communities the mechanisms to achieve their own goals and aspirations,
including provisions to allow communities to purchase abandoned or neglected land
in both urban and rural areas. The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill, which is currently
before the Scottish Parliament, also impacts on land use. For example, it includes a
proposal for a statutory land rights and responsibilities statement which will set out
the Scottish Governments objectives for future land reform in Scotland and provide
a reference point for future land reform policy. The Bill will also include a requirement
that the Scottish Government will issue guidance in relation to engaging communities
in decisions relating to land. These major initiatives by the Scottish Government
demonstrate how seriously we take the relationship between communities and land.
Through these two pieces of legislation we are working to articulate what the
relationship between communities and land should look like in a modern, responsible
nation.
Community ownership is at the heart of the Scottish governments community
empowerment agenda. The acquisition and management of land can make a major
contribution towards creating stronger, more resilient and more independent
communities. Not only can community ownership help to protect or enhance local
facilities, it is also seen as a means to generate income for community activity,
increase community confidence and cohesion, enable communities to have more
control over their futures, and support economic regeneration and sustainable
development of the community. The Scottish Government has an important role in
supporting communities who have the ambition to take on ownership of land, and to
demonstrate this commitment has set a target of achieving 1 million acres of land in
community ownership by 2020.
This Land Use Strategy builds on the above legislation and targets by recognising
the need for people to be better connected with their land and outlines steps to help
make that happen.

The first Strategy highlighted linking people with the land as the necessary shift in
approach to help us move towards achieving this Objective. We have made
significant progress in the past five years with the legislation mentioned above, in
terms of empowering local communities and in relation to the place making agenda
which is central to planning policy. But much still remains to be done in terms of
realising the community benefits that flow from land and building stronger
connections between people and land.

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2.6

Principles for Sustainable Land Use

The Principles for Sustainable Land Use are a strong and useful component of policy
and should continue to inform land use choices across Scotland. National Planning
Framework 3 (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) recognise their value when
making decisions about the use and management of Scotlands land and the SPP
includes advice to planning authorities about using the Principles.
We expect that the Principles for Sustainable Land Use will be used by public bodies
when making plans and taking significant decisions affecting the use of land and
strongly encourage individuals, businesses and organisations that have significant
land management responsibilities to have regard to them. These Principles are:
a) Opportunities for land use to deliver multiple benefits should be encouraged.
b) Regulation should continue to protect essential public interests whilst placing as
light a burden on businesses as is consistent with achieving its purpose. Incentives
should be efficient and cost-effective.
c) Where land is highly suitable for a primary use (for example food production, flood
management, water catchment management and carbon storage) this value should
be recognised in decision-making.
d) Land use decisions should be informed by an understanding of the functioning of
the ecosystems which they affect in order to maintain the benefits of the ecosystem
services which they provide.
e) Landscape change should be managed positively and sympathetically,
considering the implications of change at a scale appropriate to the landscape in
question, given that all Scotland's landscapes are important to our sense of identity
and to our individual and social wellbeing.
f) Land-use decisions should be informed by an understanding of the opportunities
and threats brought about by the changing climate. Greenhouse gas emissions
associated with land use should be reduced and land should continue to contribute
to delivering climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives.
g) Where land has ceased to fulfil a useful function because it is derelict or vacant,
this represents a significant loss of economic potential and amenity for the
community concerned. It should be a priority to examine options for restoring all such
land to economically, socially or environmentally productive uses.
h) Outdoor recreation opportunities and public access to land should be encouraged,
along with the provision of accessible green space close to where people live, given
their importance for health and well-being.
i) People should have opportunities to contribute to debates and decisions about
land use and management decisions which affect their lives and their future.
j) Opportunities to broaden our understanding of the links between land use and
daily living should be encouraged.
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3.

Policies and Proposals

This section sets out the new policies and proposals that will be taken forward under
the second Land Use Strategy. In line with the definitions given in Low Carbon
Scotland, the Report on Policies and Proposals 2, a policy is a course of action
which has already been wholly or largely decided upon. A proposal is a suggested
course of action, the details of which might change as this course of action is
explored further.

3.1

Policy Context

The Land Use Strategy provides us with the opportunity to ensure the most
appropriate use and management of the countrys land resources, and to emphasise
key policy areas where we plan to work on enhanced alignment. The Land Use
Strategy is relevant across a wide spectrum of Government policy and by its very
nature land and land use has an impact on many aspects of life in Scotland.
However this is not a comprehensive look across all aspects of related policy. This
was undertaken in the first Strategy and remains valid. In this section we highlight
only those areas where there is a need for further action in the next 5 year period.
Natural Resource Management
Policy 1: We are committed to better understanding and managing Scotlands
natural resources to enable their fair, wise and productive use, and to conserve
stocks of ecosystem services for future generations. We will do this by promoting
an ecosystem approach to managing our natural capital.
Our understanding and thinking about natural resource management and ecosystem
services has progressed since the publication of the first Land Use Strategy. The
appropriate use and management of Scotlands natural resources is at the heart of a
sustainable economy and underpins economic growth. This is founded on the
recognition that our economy, health and well-being are tied to a secure and resilient
natural environment.
There have been considerable developments in the field of natural capital since the
publication of the first Land Use Strategy with the publication of the first Natural
Capital Asset Index by Scottish Natural Heritage, the first World Forum on Natural
Capital and the formation of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital. We acknowledge
the importance of taking our natural resources into account in the way that we make
decisions and do business. This does not mean that we must attach a monetary
value to the environment, but it does mean that we must be fully aware of the impact
of our actions on the environment, both now and in the future.
The use of an ecosystems approach is a helpful means to better understand our
environment and factor it into decisions. The work of the land use pilot projects in
Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders have successfully demonstrated the use of
an ecosystems approach and have contributed enormously to what this approach
means in practice.
12

Policy Alignment
Policy 2: The Land Use Strategy sits alongside and has informed the National
Planning Framework 3, Scottish Planning Policy and the National Marine Plan to
support Scotlands Economic Strategy 2015. Relevant sectoral strategies (e.g.
forestry and agriculture) will take account of the Land Use Strategy Objectives and
Principles in their design and delivery.
The Land Use Strategy has a vital role to play in delivering the A Stronger Scotland,
The Governments Programme for Scotland 2015-16 and Scotlands Economic
Strategy. However, feedback from stakeholders has indicated that the relationship
between the Strategy and other Government policies is not always clear. This policy
statement and the diagram below clarify that relationship and illustrate this with a
selection of key Government policy and strategy documents. It is important to
recognise that policy alignment may be horizontal as well as vertical and this is
shown in the diagram.

13

Land Use Strategy Policy Context


SG Purpose

To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish, through
increasing sustainable economic growth

SG National
Outcomes

The LUS contributes primarily to the following national outcomes:


We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe.
We reduce the local and global environmental impact of our consumption and production.
We live in well-designed sustainable places where we are able to access the amenities and services we need.
We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect it and enhance it for future generations.
We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect
others.
Scotlands Economic Strategy 2015

SG National
Plans, Policies
and Strategies

Sectoral Plans,
Policies and
Strategies

LUS Vision

LUS Objectives

*Land
Policy
Statement

A Vision for
Scottish
Agriculture

Scotland
Rural
Development
Programme

River Basin
Management
Plans

Climate
Ready
Scotland
Scottish
Climate
Change
Adaptation
Programme

Low Carbon
Scotland: Meeting our
Emissions Reduction
Targets 2013-2027.
The Second Report
on Proposals and
Policies

*Strategic
Vision for
the Uplands

Land
Use
Strategy

Scotland's
third
National
Planning
Framework
& Scottish
Planning
Policy

Achieving a
Sustainable
Future:
Regeneration
Strategy

Scotland's
National
Marine
Plan

Our Place in
Time - The
Historic
Environment
Strategy for
Scotland

2020
National
Scottish
*Pollinators
Strategy
Challenge
Peatland
Forestry
for
Plan
Strategy
Scotlands
Biodiversity
A Scotland where we fully recognise, understand and value the importance of our land resources, and where our plans and decision
about land use deliver improved and enduring benefits, enhancing the wellbeing of our nation
Land based businesses working with
nature to contribute more to
Scotlands prosperity

Recipe for Success: Scotland's


National Food & Drink Policy Becoming a Good Food Nation

Responsible stewardship of Scotlands


natural resources delivering more
benefits to Scotlands people

Urban and rural communities better connected to


the land, with more people enjoying the land and
positively influencing land use

LUS Principles
10 Principles that reflect government policies on the priorities which should inform land use choices across Scotland
for Sustainable
Land Use
*Policies shaded in light blue are either proposed or under development

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Statutory Spatial Planning System


Policy 3: We will undertake a programme of information and awareness-raising.
This will provide:
more detail and clarity on the relevance of the Land Use Strategy to
the planning system;

information about the added value the Land Use Strategy can bring,
particularly to development planning;

information on the use of an ecosystems approach in Strategic


Environmental Assessment (SEA), which in turn supports development
planning.

National Planning Framework 3 refers directly to the Land Use Strategy and the
Principles. It highlights the importance of delivering multiple benefits from land and
the need to recognise that the environment is a functioning ecosystem and to take
this into account in decision making. It also highlights the work of the two land use
pilot projects.
Scottish Planning Policy sets out national planning policies which reflect Scottish
Ministers priorities for the operation of the planning system and for the development
and use of land. In doing so it promotes consistency in the application of policy
across Scotland. Scottish Planning Policy is clear that application of planning policies
should have regard to the Principles of the Land Use Strategy.
The planning system and local planning authorities are already delivering against the
Objectives of the Strategy and the application of the Principles is a matter of good
planning. Planning demonstrates good practice in community engagement both in
the preparation of development plans and in consultation on decision making. In
addition, development plans contain detailed policy on areas such as flood risk, the
protection of landscape and biodiversity, green networks, and renewable energy
development which, through decision making on planning applications, help to
deliver the LUS and the Principles for Sustainable Land Use. Although the Scottish
Government is clear that the planning system is a delivery mechanism for the Land
Use Strategy the alignment between the Land Use Strategy and planning is not
always well understood.
We are therefore aware that we could do more to highlight the potential for the
added value that the Strategy, and in particular an ecosystems approach, can bring
in terms of delivering multiple benefits. We propose to undertake a programme of
information and awareness-raising to ensure that the added value that the Strategy
can bring is fully recognised.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a statutory requirement for all
development plans. Since the publication of the first Strategy considerable work has
been undertaken on the use of an ecosystems approach in SEA and there is much
good practice and advice to share. We are already committed to the publication of an
information note on the use of an ecosystems approach in SEA and once this is
15

available we will undertake information and awareness raising with SEA and
planning professionals on this particular aspect.
An independent review of the Scottish planning system is currently underway and is
due to report to Scottish Ministers in Spring 2016. We will consider the implications
of the recommendations for the Land Use Strategy when they emerge.

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Forestry
Policy 4: We will undertake a review of the Scottish Forestry Strategy.

Forestry has a key role to play in terms of delivering the Vision, Objectives and
Principles of the Land Use Strategy in rural and urban Scotland. The sustainable
management of Scotlands woodlands and forests makes an important contribution
to Scotlands economy; it delivers health and well-being benefits for people and a
range of other critical ecosystem services including climate change mitigation and
adaptation. Woodland and forests also have a role to play in reducing the risk from
climate change for the people and biodiversity of Scotland.
To increase its role in addressing the challenge Scotland faces from climate change,
a target of 100,000 ha of new woodland creation by 2022 has been established.
Within the UK, Scotland is leading the way in terms of areas of new woodland
creation, however it is recognised that more needs to be done to achieve the
planting target. Forestry Commission Scotland is working closely with stakeholders,
following the introduction of a new streamlined Forestry Grants Scheme, to help
increase the number of good quality woodland creation proposals.
The Scottish Forestry Strategy was published in 2006 and is due for review. It is
important that policy is kept up to date to reflect changing circumstances and to
ensure proper read across between different policy strands.
Forestry Commission Scotland will co-ordinate this review and seek stakeholder
views on key issues. The review of the Forestry Strategy will take account of the
other policies and proposals outlined in this Strategy

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Land Reform
Proposal 1: We will further consider the relationship between current land related
policies and the potential advantages of a single policy statement about land
which deals with ownership, use and management.

To date the links between land ownership, use and management have been
recognised but the relationships have not always been captured within relevant
policy statements. We have already consulted on a draft Land Rights and
Responsibilities Statement, which proposes a vision and set of principles to guide
the development of public policy on the nature and character of land rights in
Scotland, and have included a commitment to a statutory Land Rights and
Responsibilities Statement (LRRS) within the current Land Reform (Scotland) Bill.
Stakeholders have provided their views on the proposed LRRS as part of the recent
evidence sessions on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill to the Rural Affairs, Climate
Change and Environment Committee, and many have sought to highlight the links
between consideration of land rights and land use. A number of stakeholders have
suggested that there are general principles that underpin both consideration of land
rights, in the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, and land use, in the Land
Use Strategy, as well as other policies that relate to land.
Scottish Ministers feel there continues to be a strong need to consider land use
through the Land Use Strategy, and to consider land rights through the proposed
Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement. However, Scottish Ministers would also
like to explore further the potential advantages of an overarching policy statement
that deals with ownership, use and management of land. Any such statement would
not remove or override the Land Use Strategy, which is a statutory requirement.

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3.2

Informed Decision Making

From the outset the Land Use Strategy has sought to improve our decision making
capability so that we can make better informed decisions which help us move
towards our policy objective of more integrated land use delivering multiple benefits
for Scotland. We need to make the most effective use of the data and tools at our
disposal and we also need to actively work to bring together all those with an interest
in land in their locality. This effective use of data is underpinned by the wider data
agenda. Scottish Government have published a Data Vision for Scotland which sets
out ambitions for a Scotland, which by 2020, recognises the value of data and makes
responsible use of that data. The Open Data Strategy is a key component of this
overarching data vision.
The capability exists in Scotland to make more effective use of our data and to use it
to make better informed decisions. The following set of policies and proposals seeks
to assist in underpinning decision making by improving the availability of information,
improving how data is used and making it more accessible and useful. They also
seek to ensure this information can help empower communities and stakeholders in
terms of land use decision making.
Ecosystem Services Mapping and Tools
Policy 5: We will continue to encourage those holding public data to make it open
and available for others to use and will facilitate access to that data via the Land
Use Data Directory.
We will explore the development of models and Geographic Information System
(GIS) tools to enable assessments of land use/management change.

The regional pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders have
demonstrated the value of ecosystem services data, and the power of utilising that
data in GIS mapping tools to inform decision making.
The Land Use Data Directory launched in June 2015 is a first step towards
facilitating access to the wide range of data currently available about ecosystem
services in Scotland. The Open Data Strategy, which was published in February
2015, commits to establishing a Scottish Data Discovery Site. This will provide data
users with a common entry point to all of Scotlands Open Data and will link to
existing websites and data stores. The LUS Data Directory will contribute to this
facility. Scotlands Environment Web (SE Web) also has a key role to play in
visualising much of this data and enabling users to view what is available. We will
continue to develop and support the Data Directory, linking in to any future open data
discovery sites. We will continue to encourage those with spatial data sets to ensure
that they are available in accessible formats and to follow the open data standards
set out in the Open Data Resource Pack.

19

The availability of data needs to be accompanied by improved tools for its use and
we recognise the exploratory work that has been undertaken by a range of groups to
develop and use GIS tools.
We recognise that for many this type of work is new and challenging and can also be
resource intensive. However, such work is important in order to enable better
informed decision making and enable all those with an interest in land use to access
and utilise data. The Scottish Government will take a lead by exploring the
practicality of developing methods and methodologies to assist in the assessment of
land use benefits and opportunities at a more local level. We will also explore the
development of an online national mapping tool which will reduce the burden locally,
set out a national data baseline and encourage consistency across Scotland. In
developing an online mapping tool we will build on the knowledge and experience
gained by projects in Scotland, such as the land use pilot projects, in trialling this
type of approach.
We will also explore the feasibility of developing, as part of the online mapping tool,
functionality to allow users to incorporate locally relevant data to build a more
comprehensive picture for their locality.

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Regional Land Use Partnerships


Policy 6: We will encourage the establishment of regional land use partnerships.

In order to progress better integration of land uses and better understanding of the
issues there is clear value in bringing together local people, land users and
managers into regional or local partnerships. The evidence from the land use pilots
is that bringing people together enables better understanding and that there is a
willingness and appetite to work together in this way. However it is also clear that
such groups need a clear remit to encourage participation.
An ecosystems approach emphasises the need to involve people in decision making.
Land use partnerships are a means to enable local people to have a much clearer
influence over land use in their area. They are a way to include the views of a wide
range of stakeholders and community interests.
While the role and remit of such partnerships is likely to be largely dependent on the
issues and challenges they face locally, the area where they can have a significant
role and impact is in leading or being closely involved in work to develop regional
land use frameworks (see Proposal 2 below). The use of a regional land use
partnership to take forward this work gives a clear remit and also provides a
mechanism to begin to discuss and address issues around future land uses for an
area within the context of better understanding the interactions, the opportunities and
the aspirations of local communities.
Regional land use partnerships could be local authority led, but other formats will be
considered and alignments based on existing geographical partnerships may be
more appropriate in some areas.

21

Regional Land Use Frameworks


Proposal 2: We will further explore the development of regional land use
frameworks for rural areas of Scotland.
The Land Use Strategy pilot projects have demonstrated the potential benefits from
developing regional land use frameworks. The independent evaluation and the
feedback from the pilots themselves show that such frameworks have the potential
to:

Assist in the assessment of how changes in land use and land management may
impact on a broad range of ecosystem services;

Bring stakeholders together and build understanding about competing interests;

Involve local communities in decisions about their local area;

Provide context and wider input to a range of local authority responsibilities such
as development planning and flood risk planning; and,

Assist in targeting the use of finite financial resources to where they may have
most impact.

However we accept that this is a new and developing area of work and that further
work is required before we could consider rolling out this approach more widely.
Accordingly, we will explore the potential for further development, for example by
working with willing regional land use partnerships (see Policy 6), by considering the
development of tools and guidance and by facilitating easier access to data and GIS
tools (see Policy 5). We will also consider what potential there is for streamlining the
current range of sectoral plans and strategies which could be incorporated into a
single land use framework for a locality, for example forestry, biodiversity or flood
risk strategies. The relationship between these frameworks and statutory
development plans will also need to be considered further.

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Land Use Mediation and Facilitation


Proposal 3: We will explore options for facilitation and/or mediation between land
owners/managers and communities.
Mediation and facilitation have distinct but complementary roles to play in generating
better understanding and more effective decision making in relation to land use. In
both cases dialogue is one of the key aspects to progress. It is anticipated that
regional land use partnerships will be effective at building and maintaining dialogue
between different interests. However it is recognised that at times dialogue breaks
down or it is difficult to initiate discussions between interested groups. In such cases
a third party or intermediary can assist in providing facilitation or in playing a
mediating role between parties.
Both the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 and the Land Reform
(Scotland) Bill (currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament) emphasise the
importance the Scottish Government places on engaging and empowering
communities. The Community Empowerment Act specifically contains powers for
Ministers to take such steps as they consider appropriate for the purpose of
arranging, or facilitating the arrangement of, mediation in relation to registration of an
interest in land or the exercise of the right to buy land within the Land Reform
(Scotland) Act 2003. The Land Reform Bill contains proposals to ensure that land
use decisions do not act as a barrier to the sustainable development of communities.
We anticipate that in the majority of cases disputes will be resolved without having to
resort to statutory means, however assistance in the form of facilitation or mediation
may be required.
The Rural Parliament has highlighted the need for a facilitation service between land
owners and communities in certain situations. Similar issues have been raised by
stakeholders who feel that facilitation would help to encourage earlier/better dialogue
between communities and landowners/agents to understand each others needs
more clearly and identify where there are mutually beneficial outcomes. Mediation
would help to address barriers where relationships have deteriorated in negotiations.
Much can be learned from other sectors in this respect and the work undertaken by
planning to utilise charrettes as an approach to community involvement is a good
example of where we can learn from good practice elsewhere.

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3.3

Applying the Principles

The following policies and proposals are about actions which directly apply the Land
Use Strategy Principles and Objectives or which will have a direct influence on the
ground in future years. They represent the focus of activity and resources during the
next 5 year period; however, they do not represent all on-going activity.
Agriculture
Policy 7: We will develop and implement a package of measures to facilitate the
step change to climate friendly farming and crofting. This will promote carbon
efficient agriculture, environmental benefits and increasingly integrated land use.
Our food exports have an enviable reputation for quality which stems in part from the
quality of the environment in which they are produced. Scotlands food and drink
sector relies heavily on our wonderful environment to market its produce world-wide.
We have a responsibility not only to care for our own environment but to be mindful
of the impact of our production methods on other parts of the globe, notably through
greenhouse gas emissions and other factors which influence climate change.
Becoming a Good Food Nation highlights the importance of environmentally sound
production of food and the need to consider that impact both locally and around the
world.
Agriculture is now responsible for almost a quarter of Scotlands greenhouse gas
emissions, producing 12.5 MtCO2e in 2013 almost as much as transport and
energy production. This is due to the gases produced in agriculture nitrous oxide,
caused by cultivation and fertiliser use, has almost 300 times more impact on global
warming than carbon dioxide. Methane which is produced by livestock has 25 times
carbon dioxides effect. The emissions from agriculture are more than Scotlands
entire total statutory permitted greenhouse gas emissions for 2050 from all sources,
so reductions must be made.
The Future of Scottish Agriculture A Discussion Document sets out our aspirations
to be world leading in green farming. This vision includes a number of future aims:
farmers working with nature and embracing their role as custodians of the natural
environment; a low carbon agriculture industry; halting the loss of farmland
biodiversity and achieving good water quality in water bodies affected by diffuse
pollution; farmers and the climate benefiting from the efficient use of energy feed and
fertilizer; and farmers combining food production with other land uses, including farm
woodlands, renewables, flood management, etc. to make the best use of their land.
We are also keen to ensure that smaller producers, such as crofters, are fully
involved in this discussion as they have an important contribution to make.
As part of the on-going national discussion on the future of Scottish agriculture,
farmers and land managers are being asked to get involved and provide their
thoughts to the Scottish Government on these outcomes. This will assist in
identifying the short and long term actions required to help realise the vision for
Scottish agriculture.
24

A suite of measures is currently under development which will assist land managers
to move towards more climate friendly farming. Scotlands farm businesses have
already made significant progress in this direction, but more can, and needs, to be
achieved if we are to realise our vision of climate friendly farming.
The focus is on practical action which can be taken at a holding level to benefit both
the climate and the farm business. Practical measures and approaches are being
developed for the Third Report on Policies and Proposals (RPP3), to be published in
2016, and there will be an on-going roll out of actions in following years. These could
include work on further integration of different land uses such as appropriate tree
planting on farms. We will work with our industry partners to ensure wide
dissemination of information and knowledge so as to increase take up and
participation.

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Agri-Environment
Policy 8: We will continue to develop a targeted approach in the current Scottish
Rural Development Programme (SRDP) Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and
will utilise more localised map based ecosystems assessments to inform funding
decisions as appropriate and as these become available across Scotland.
The new SRDP has established the principle of targeting to enable measures and
support to be focused where they are likely to be most effective and make most
efficient use of resources. As pressure on resources increases it is imperative that
we continue to refine and develop our targeting to ensure that we generate the best
economic and environmental returns for Scotland and link this to achieving our
biodiversity targets and improved ecosystem health and restoration.
The targeting of SRDP agri-environment options is supported by a range of spatial
information. As the land use pilots have shown there is scope to significantly
increase the use of GIS data to assist with a targeted approach and to place that
targeted approach within a wider ecosystem or landscape context. Work is currently
underway to assess how the framework approach developed by the pilots can be
developed within the context of the SRDP.
As more detailed and refined mapping of ecosystem services data becomes
available, through the development of ecosystem services mapping and tools (Policy
5), this will be used to inform decisions for the current SRDP measures. Regional
land use frameworks (Proposal 2) and partnerships (Policy 6) each have a role in
terms of bringing stakeholders together to discuss and consider the outputs and their
use more widely to promote a more integrated approach to land use and the
achievement of multiple benefits. In time, the development of regional land use
frameworks will contribute significantly to enabling decisions to be made within a
wider ecosystems context.

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Agri-Environment
Proposal 4: We will explore the further development of a targeted approach to
agri-environment in the next SRDP (post 2020) and how this could make
increased use of an assessment of ecosystem health and a spatial approach.
Our experience is that the lead-in times for the SRDP are considerable, and early
strategic consideration of the approach to the next SRDP(post 2020) would be highly
beneficial. Now that the new SRDP and the agri-environment scheme are
operational we have an opportunity to consider what the next scheme could deliver
for Scotland and whether there is a case to reshape it.
The increased emphasis on targeting, as set out above, the acceptance of
ecosystem health as a means to support the targeting work, and the use of a more
spatial approach could enable the next SRDP to be more focused so that limited
financial resources can be targeted much more precisely. This would support the
work of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy by enabling ecosystem enhancement and
restoration where it is most needed.
In addition to the work of the land use pilots, there is a range of other work underway
or completed which could add to our consideration of the approaches we might take
to the next SRDP. These include work to increase the effectiveness of the
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, forestry assessment procedures,
regulatory work on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, a range of public agency work and
ongoing work on cross compliance and greening.
In order to ensure that agri-environment measures under the next SRDP are locally
focused and driven by ecosystem health measures and local targeting, we will
explore commissioning a feasibility study to consider how such a package could be
shaped and delivered. This will assist in achieving a programme of measures to
deliver better environmental outcomes and maximise the return on investment of
public money.

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Urban Land Use


Proposal 5: We will explore the feasibility of establishing an urban land use pilot
project.
The Land Use Strategy applies across the whole of Scotland and is equally
applicable in urban and rural areas. To date, the work of our two pilot projects in
Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders has focused on land use and the application
of an ecosystems approach in a primarily rural context. However, the principles of an
ecosystems approach and the Land Use Strategy Principles for Sustainable Land
Use apply equally well in urban areas and have much to offer the decision making
process within our towns and cities.
Our statutory spatial planning system similarly applies equally across urban and rural
Scotland, although the highest intensity of development activity often tends to be in
and around urban areas. To complement Policy 3 and to further illustrate the benefits
that an ecosystems approach can bring to planning decisions through the SEA
process, we will explore setting up an urban land use pilot. Such a project will also
enable us to gain a better understanding of the role that the Land Use Strategy could
play in an urban setting, its relationship with planning and how, as part of the
supporting SEA, an ecosystems approach can be used to best effect in an urban
setting.
We will explore the feasibility of establishing an urban based land use pilot project,
similar to the two pilot projects which completed in March 2015.

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Upland Land Use


Proposal 6: We will scope the potential to develop a strategic vision for the
uplands, exploring the multiple benefits they deliver and how they can contribute to
climate change targets.
The potential of upland Scotland to contribute to the climate change agenda is
significant and has been recognised through the Peatland Plan which promotes good
management of peatlands and supports restoration where required. Upland areas
have considerable potential to deliver multiple benefits from land use and to make a
more wide ranging contribution to the climate change agenda. However, they are
also areas of challenge, in terms of the economic viability of land based businesses
and individual producers such as crofters, and the potential tensions between
competing land uses. The debate should include the opportunities for land use
change that can enhance the ecosystem services delivered from these areas in
addition to improvements to the economic viability of land holdings through
diversification and integrated land use e.g. appropriate woodland establishment.
We consider that the Land Use Strategy presents an opportunity to bring together
the full range of issues which are apparent in upland Scotland and to consider these
in a strategic way so that we can agree a new vision for our uplands, consider how
they can contribute to the climate change agenda and how we can better manage
these areas in a more integrated and sustainable way for the future.
We recognise that this is a challenging task given the complexity and wide range of
interests represented. Indeed even the term uplands is contested, so we recognise
the need to tread carefully to ensure the support of all with an interest in these areas.
For this reason we propose to scope the potential to develop a strategic vision. Only
after we have taken this initial step will we determine whether it is feasible to proceed
with the development of a shared vision for the uplands.

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4.

Monitoring Delivery of the Strategy

4.1

The Land Use Strategy Indicators

The ten Land Use Strategy indicators were chosen to monitor the progress being
made in the delivery of the first Strategys three Objectives. Although they do not
provide a comprehensive measure of every aspect of land use associated with the
Strategy, they represent key aspects of the Strategy and provide a balanced picture
of important representative elements. We consider that these indicators remain fit for
purpose. Further information on trends illustrated by the indicators can be found on
the Land Use Strategy webpages. The table below shows how the indicators relate
to the three long term Objectives.
indicator

objective

LULUCF Land use, land use change and forestry GHG


emissions

all

Gross Value Added GVA in agriculture and forestry

Scottish tourism visits

1 and 3

High nature value farming and forestry

1 and 2

Natural capital asset index NCAI

Water ecological status

Terrestrial breeding birds

Volunteering in nature

2 and 3

Visits to the outdoors

10

Community inclusion in land use decision making

4.2

Future Reporting

We welcome an ongoing dialogue with all our stakeholders about the delivery of the
Policies and Proposals in this document. We aim to provide regular updates on
progress and will explore the best means to provide people with information on
progress with the delivery of the Strategy, as well as information on events and
resources. The Strategy webpages currently provide a range of information including
publications and reports and the Land Use Data Directory. These pages will be
regularly reviewed to ensure that they provide useful information.

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5.

Responding to this Consultation

We would like to hear your views on the draft Land Use Strategy 2016 2021 and
the proposals and policies we have set out. A series of questions is included below
to guide your response. Each question relates to a section of the draft Land Use
Strategy or the Environmental Report.
A business and regulatory impact assessment is not required, as the Land Use
Strategy will not directly impose new regulatory burdens on businesses, charities or
the voluntary sector. Any new measures which arise in relation to the Strategy will be
subject to assessment as appropriate.
An initial assessment of equality issues has been made for this Draft Strategy. In
addition, this consultation contains a question on equalities issues which may lead to
further consideration being necessary. Any new measures which arise in relation to
the Strategy will be subject to assessment as appropriate.
In accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, the Scottish
Government has prepared an Environmental Report which should be read alongside
this consultation document. An Environmental Report Non-Technical Summary is
part of this report.
A scenarios assessment exercise helped inform the first Land Use Strategy and its
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), and this is available alongside earlier
SEA work
at: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/Countryside/Landusestrategy/sea.
We welcome your thoughts on the potential impacts, both positive and potentially
negative, of any of the ideas in this paper and questions have been included at the
end of the consultation paper for this purpose.
Annex A contains details of the statutory requirements of the Climate Change
(Scotland) Act 2009. A range of other information can be found on the Land Use
Strategy webpages.
The consultation runs until 29 January 2016. A 10 week consultation will allow us to
ensure your views are taken into account in the Land Use Strategy 2016 - 2021.
There are a number of ways that you can respond: online on the Scottish Government website
at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/.
by email by sending your response to the Land Use and Biodiversity Team
at LandUseStrategy@gov.scot
in writing, by sending your responses to the address below.
Land Use and Biodiversity Team,
The Scottish Government,
1C-North Victoria Quay,
Edinburgh,
EH6 6QQ
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When responding, please complete a Respondent Information Form to let us know


your confidentiality preferences. All respondents should be aware that the Scottish
Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for
information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
We would be grateful if you would use the consultation questionnaire provided or
indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are
responding to, as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.
Other formats of this consultation can be made available on request, please contact
the Land Use and Biodiversity Team on LandUseStrategy@gov.scot or 0131 244
7968.

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5.1

Consultation Questions

Vision, Objectives and Principles


The Land Use Strategy 2016 2021 continues the policy direction established in the
first Strategy. We consider that the Vision, three long term Objectives and Principles
for Sustainable Land Use are still relevant and fit for purpose therefore we propose
that they are retained.
Q 1a Do you think that the Vision, Principles for Sustainable Land Use and three
long term Objectives are still fit for purpose?
Q 1b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Policy Context
This group of policies and proposals is intended to raise awareness and provide
clarity in relation to the status and context of the Land Use Strategy and a range of
current Scottish Government policies. It covers natural resource management,
statutory planning, forestry and the relationship between land ownership, use and
management.
Natural Resource Management
Our understanding and thinking about natural resource management and ecosystem
services has progressed since the publication of the first Land Use Strategy. We
consider that the use of an ecosystems approach is a helpful means to better
understand our environment and factor it into decisions. This has been successfully
demonstrated in the work of the land use pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and the
Scottish Borders.
Policy 1: We are committed to better understanding and managing Scotlands
natural resources to enable their fair, wise and productive use, and to conserve
stocks of ecosystem services for future generations. We will do this by promoting
an ecosystem approach to managing our natural capital.

Q 2a Do you agree that continued use of an ecosystems approach is an effective


way to manage Scotlands natural capital?
Q 2b Please provide reasons for your answer.
Policy Alignment
We set out the relationship of the LUS2 to key Scottish Government policies
including the National Planning Framework 3 and the National Marine Plan as well
as a range of sectoral policies such as forestry, agriculture, peatland, and soils.
33

Policy 2: The Land Use Strategy sits alongside and has informed the National
Planning Framework 3, Scottish Planning Policy and the National Marine Plan
to support the Scotlands Economic Strategy 2015. Relevant sectoral strategies
(e.g. forestry and agriculture) will take account of the Land Use Strategy
Objectives and Principles in their design and delivery.

Q 3a Is the relationship as set out in the draft Land Use Strategy 2016 - 2021
clear?
Q 3b Do you have any comments on the relationship between the LUS and
Scotlands Economic Strategy 2015, National Planning Framework, National Marine
Plan and other relevant policies?
Planning
Planning policy refers to the Land Use Strategy and highlights it as a key document
for planning authorities when considering the wider context for development plans.
We wish to raise awareness of the relevance of the LUS2 to planners and to
enhance their understanding of how the LUS Principles and ecosystems approach to
environmental assessment can add value to the planning process.
Policy 3: We will undertake a programme of information and awareness-raising.
This will provide:
more detail and clarity on the relevance of the Land Use Strategy to the
planning system;
information about the added value the Land Use Strategy can bring,
particularly to development planning;
information on the use of an ecosystems approach in Strategic
Environmental Assessment (SEA), which in turn supports development
planning.

Q 4a Do you think that the activities described above could be useful?


Q 4b Do you have any suggestions on other kinds of information and activities that
could be useful?
Forestry
Forestry is a key land use, covering around 18% of Scotland. It is also a key
contributor to climate change and biodiversity targets. The existing Scottish Forestry
Strategy was published in 2006 prior to the publication of the first Land Use Strategy.
Given the age of the existing Scottish Forestry Strategy, a review could ensure better
alignment between forestry policies and the Land Use Strategy Principles.

34

Policy 4: We will undertake a review of the Scottish Forestry Strategy.

Q 5 How could the content of the current Scottish Forestry Strategy be updated to
better reflect the Objectives and Principles of the Land Use Strategy and other key
priorities?
Land Reform
In light of evidence provided to the Parliament in connection with the Land Reform
(Scotland) Bill, we intend to explore further the potential advantages of an
overarching policy statement that deals with ownership, use and management of
land.
Proposal 1: We will further consider the relationship between current land related
policies and the potential advantages of a single policy statement about land
which deals with ownership, use and management.

Q 6a Do you consider that there could be advantages in having a single policy


statement about land which deals with ownership, use and management?
Q 6b Do you have any comments on the relationship between current land related
policies and how these would relate to a single policy statement?
Informed Decision-making
This group of policies and proposals supports decision making with the development
of improved data, increased accessibility and wider empowerment of communities
and stakeholders in decision-making.
Ecosystem Services Mapping and Tools
We will continue to develop and support the LUS Data Directory, linking in to any
future open data discovery sites and we also propose to explore the practicality of
developing methods and methodologies to assist in the assessment of land use
benefits and opportunities at a more local level.
Policy 5 We will continue to encourage those holding public data to make it
open and available for others to use and will facilitate access to that data via the
Land Use Data Directory.
We will explore the development of models and Geographic Information System
(GIS) tools to enable assessments of land use/management change.

35

Q 7a Do you agree that models and GIS tools could help inform decision making
about land use/management change?
Q 7b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Q 7c Do you think that a baseline ecosystems services mapping tool could be
useful?
Q 7d Do you have any comments on a mapping tool?
Regional Land Use Partnerships
Local partnerships can be an effective way of bringing people together to consider
land use issues that are relevant to them. We wish to encourage the setting up of
regional land use partnerships to help deliver the Land Use Strategy at a local level.
Policy 6 We will encourage the establishment of regional land use partnerships.

Q 8a Do you agree that regional land use partnerships could be a helpful way to
support regional delivery of the Land Use Strategy?
Q 8b Who do you think could be best placed to lead these initiatives?
Q 8c Can you suggest any alternative means of supporting the delivery of the Land
Use Strategy at regional level?
Q 8d Do you have any other comments on this policy?
Regional Land Use Frameworks
The regional land use pilots in Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders have
demonstrated the potential benefits of the development of regional land use
frameworks which could be used to inform land use/management decisions and to
inform development plans. Regional frameworks may also be useful for local
authorities as they undertake a range of statutory functions or duties such as
managing flood risk or biodiversity.
Proposal 2 We will further explore the development of regional land use
frameworks for rural areas of Scotland.

Q 9a Do you think that regional land use frameworks could be useful to inform
regional/local land use decision-making?
Q 9b Which aspects of this approach do you think require further development?
36

Q 9c Do you have any comments on this proposal?


Land Use Mediation and Facilitation
Mediation and facilitation have distinct but complementary roles to play in generating
better understanding and more effective decision making in relation to land use. We
consider that both mediation and/or facilitation could have a role to play in land use
to assist communities and landowners to resolve differences.
Proposal 3 We will explore options for facilitation and/or mediation between
land owners/managers and communities.

Q 10a Do you think that land use mediation or facilitation could be useful in a land
use context?
Q 10b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Applying the Principles
This group of policies and proposals support the application of the LUS Principles for
Sustainable Land Use either as specific projects or used to influence changes on the
ground. It includes agriculture and climate change measures, agri-environment
targeting, possible approaches to the next CAP programme, urban Scotland and the
uplands.
Agriculture
The Future of Scottish Agriculture sets out our aspirations to be world leading in
green farming. A suite of measures is under development which will assist land
managers to move towards more climate friendly farming. Practical measures and
approaches are being developed for the Third Report on Policies and Proposals
(RPP3), to be published in 2016, and there will be an on-going roll out of actions in
following years.
Policy 7: We will develop and implement a package of measures to facilitate the
step change to climate friendly farming and crofting. This will promote carbon
efficient agriculture, environmental benefits and increasingly integrated land use.

Q 11 Do you have any suggestions on other potential measures to encourage


climate friendly farming and crofting?

37

Agri-Environment
The new SRDP has established the principle of targeting to enable measures and
support to be focused where they are likely to be most effective. The land use pilot
projects have shown there is scope to significantly increase the use of GIS data to
assist with a targeted approach. As more detailed and refined mapping of ecosystem
services data becomes available, through the development of ecosystem services
mapping and tools (Policy 5) this will be used to inform decisions for the current
SRDP measures.
Policy 9 We will continue to develop a targeted approach in the current Scottish
Rural Development Programme (SRDP) Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and
will utilise more localised map based ecosystems assessments to inform funding
decisions as appropriate and as these become available across Scotland.

Q 12a Do you agree that more localised map-based ecosystems assessments could
be useful to assist in informing funding decisions?
Q 12b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Agri-Environment
Now that the new SRDP and the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme are operational
we have an opportunity to consider what the next scheme could deliver for Scotland
and whether there is a case to reshape it. The increased emphasis on targeting, the
acceptance of ecosystem health as a means to support the targeting work, and the
use of a more spatial approach could enable the next SRDP to be more focused so
that limited financial resources can be targeted much more precisely.
Proposal 4 We will explore the further development of a targeted approach to
agri-environment in the next SRDP (post 2020) and how this could make
increased use of an assessment of ecosystem health and a spatial approach.

Q 13a Do you agree that an assessment of ecosystems health and a spatial


approach could be helpful to further inform targeting for the next SRDP?
Q 13b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Urban Land Use
In order to explore the applicability and effectiveness of an ecosystems approach in
an urban context, and its complementarities with the statutory planning system we
propose to explore the feasibility of establishing an urban land use pilot project.

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Proposal 5 We will explore the feasibility of establishing an urban land use pilot
project.

Q 14a Do you agree that an urban pilot project could be useful?


Q 14b Please provide your reasons for your answer.
Upland Land Use
The uplands have considerable opportunities to contribute to the climate change
agenda in Scotland by delivering multiple benefits from land use. However they are
also areas of challenge and at times tension. The Land Use Strategy provides an
opportunity to consider and agree a new strategic vision for our uplands.
Proposal 6 We will scope the potential to develop a strategic vision for the
uplands, exploring the multiple benefits they deliver and how they can contribute
to climate change targets.

Q 15a Do you think that a strategic vision could be useful for the uplands?
Q 15b Do you have any comments on this proposal?
Monitoring Delivery of the Strategy - the Land Use Strategy Indicators
The ten Land Use Strategy indicators were chosen to monitor the delivery of the first
Strategys three Objectives. Although they do not provide a comprehensive measure
of every aspect of land use, they represent key aspects of the Strategy and provide a
balanced picture of important representative elements. We consider that these
indicators remain fit for purpose and intend to add to or amend the indicators if
appropriate indicators become available over time or if existing data collection
ceases.
Q 16a Do you agree that the Land Use Strategy indicators are still fit for purpose?
Q 16b Do you have any comments on the future monitoring of the revised Land Use
Strategy?
General Questions
Q 17 Are there any other activities that you think we should be undertaking to
achieve better understanding and application of the Principles or delivery of the
Strategy?

39

Q 18 Are there any other points you wish to make about any aspect of this draft
Strategy?
Equalities
To help inform our Equality Impact Assessment of the revised Land Use Strategy it
would be helpful if you could answer the following question:
Q 19 Do you have any comments on the policies and proposals in this draft Strategy
in terms of how they may impact on any equalities group, i.e. with regard to age,
gender, race, religion, disability or sexuality?
Questions on the Environmental Report
Q 20a: Do you consider that the Environmental Report set out an accurate
description of the current environmental issues/baseline?
Q 20b: Please give reasons for your answer.
Q 21a: Do you consider that the predicted environmental effects as set out in the
Environmental Report are accurate?
Q 21b: Please provide reasons for your answer including further information you feel
should be considered in the assessment.
Q 22a: Do you consider that the recommendations and opportunities for mitigation
and enhancement are accurate?
Q 22b: Please provide reasons for your answer.
Q 23: Are you aware of alternatives to the proposed policies that should be
considered as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process
conducted for the draft Strategy?

40

Annex A Statutory requirement under the Climate Change


(Scotland) Act 2009
Section 57 Duty to produce a land use strategy
1. The Scottish Ministers must, no later than 31 March 2011, lay a land use strategy
before the Scottish Parliament.
2. The strategy must, in particular, set out
(a) the Scottish Ministers objectives in relation to sustainable land use;
(b) their proposals and policies for meeting those objectives; and
(c) the timescales over which those proposals and policies are expected to
take effect.
3. The objectives, proposals and policies referred to in subsection (2) must
contribute to
(a) achievement of the Scottish Ministers duties under section 1, 2(1) or 3(1)
(b);
(b) achievement of the Scottish Ministers objectives in relation to adaptation
to climate change, including those set out in any programme produced by
virtue of section 53(2); and
(c) sustainable development.
4. Before laying the strategy before the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Ministers
must publish a draft strategy and consult with such bodies as they consider
appropriate and also with the general public.
5. The strategy must be accompanied by a report setting out
(a) the consultation process undertaken in order to comply with subsection
(4); and
(b) the ways in which views expressed during that process have been taken
account of in finalising the strategy (or stating that no account has been taken
of such views).
6. The Scottish Ministers must, no later than
(a) 5 years after laying a strategy before the Scottish Parliament under
subsection (1); and
(b) the end of every subsequent period of 5 years,
lay a revised strategy before the Scottish Parliament; and subsections (2) to (5)
apply to a revised strategy as they apply to a strategy laid under subsection (1).

41

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